Evidence for the efficacy of reading support as offered by Schoolreaders

Research evaluation by The Education Endowment Foundation

The Education Endowment Foundation provides teachers with evidence-based information on what approaches are likely to be most effective in their classrooms. The Foundation analyses international academic research into education, and publishes evaluations of different educational tools, ranking them according to impact and cost (and also by the reliability of the evidence on which researchers have based their findings).

The EEF says 'Evidence indicates that one to one tuition can be effective, delivering approximately five additional months’ progress on average'.  Their report goes on to say that 'Overall, the evidence is consistent and strong, particularly for younger learners who are behind their peers in primary schools... Effects on pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds also tend to be particularly positive'.


'Effective programs for struggling readers: A best-evidence synthesis', by R E Slavin, C Lake, S Davis
& N A Madden, Published in the Educational Research Review, 6(1), 1-26 (2011)

This study is authoritative because it brings together results from 97 separate academic papers which evaluated a number of different approaches to improving reading attainment.  Collectively, the studies involved more than 14,000 children.

The meta-analysis (or study of studies) conducted by Slavin et al concludes 'that one-to-one tutoring is very effective in improving reading performance'. 


The fact that the involvement of volunteer readers frees up teachers to teach is explicitly stated: 'One-to-one tutoring is clearly very effective, and when resources are limited, well-structured programs making use of paraprofessionals and volunteers may reach more struggling readers for the same cost as serving many fewer children with certified teachers'.

And the importance of sustained help is also clearly stated: 'The findings support the idea that high quality intervention over many years is needed for lasting impacts.'

Academic validation of Schoolreaders' own statistics


In order to ensure that statistics from our twice-yearly feedback analyses are as robust as possible, we have had advice and support from the Department of Education at the University of Bedfordshire.  The project has been led by Professor Janet Wearmouth, Professor of Education at Bedford (and formerly Director of the Centre for Curriculum and Teaching studies at the Open University and Professor of Education at the University of Wellington, New Zealand).  Professor Wearmouth and her team have ensured that our questions have been framed precisely and that analysis of responses has been rigorous. We are very grateful to Professor Wearmouth and her colleagues for their help. 

If you would like to know more about how our survey was conducted or analysed, please contact us on the email below. 

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01234 924111
Schoolreaders, Bedford Heights, Brickhill Drive, Bedford, MK41 7PH
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